Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching, and now I'm working my way through the New Testament. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage. I'm still writing, of course, and my written posts appear here.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

What happens to YOU when you present the Gospel to someone?

I still remember that amazing night, when God welcomed me into His Kingdom. I started the evening with no  idea what was going to happen, and when it was over, I was that "New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17) that Paul discusses in the Bible. It's been quite a journey, not over quite yet, but one of the things that struck me about that evening was the incredible presence of God as my friend Jim explained how I could have eternal life. I was transfixed, overwhelmed, touched by the power and presence of God. I have been privileged to watch as others have had similar experiences as I became the vehicle for God's message. Here's the thing, though. I have never presented the Gospel message without some difficulty in myself. It's hard to do. You'll hear all kinds of responses, but the main thing will be the sheer uncertainty you have. The Devil says to you, "It's not time! He is hard and won't listen! Nobody wants to hear this!" and many other similar things. In fact, the person to whom you're speaking may parrot these things right back at you. However, on HIS end (or hers), the event is much different. In many cases, they will be "cut to the heart;" their entire personal life will (only to them, thank God!) be laid open before them, as they remember all the reasons God has to judge them, and if it was up to justice, they are history. I know that's what happened to me. It was my first exposure to the Holy God and His Son Jesus Christ. As I said, it was an amazing moment, a moment when I saw myself stand naked before God in all my ugliness. It wasn't so much specific things that came up--it was just the totality of my being was exposed before God. 

Now the interesting thing was that Jim didn't feel that way at all. He was terrified to share with me. He knew he would do it wrong and that I would reject Jesus and go on to live my life and be lost in eternity. THAT's what the Devil was saying in his heart. 

What I'm saying is this: What YOU feel is happening when you present the Gospel message to someone else is probably not what's happening at all. 

On the one side, we have Jim, his hands literally shaking as he presented the message to me. On the other, we have me, at first curious, then interested, then transfixed by the reality of the Almighty telling me that I need to do this thing, to receive Jesus Christ. 

What another is experiencing is hidden from you. You won't know it. The person listening to you may criticize, may reject, may get angry. Those are not his true emotions. His true emotions are that he KNOWS that what you're saying is true. He KNOWS. You don't need to call attention to it, or offer explanations, or tell him you actually do know. You just need to tell that person the Word of God, and let the consequences meet him. They will. 

You also need to trust the passage in John: "He will convict the world" (John 16:8-10, speaking of the Holy Spirit), because that's what will happen, no matter what it seems to you. Rely on the fact that God's grace and power are being revealed to HIM, but not necessarily to you.

God bless you all.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Strangest thing in the World, II

 ONce you realize that the Holy Spirit is with you, you can have immense confidence in telling people the Gospel message. 

The Bible teaches that "The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes," and that work of God begins long before an individual ever hears. In my own case, it began in childhood, and I lost my early childhood beliefs as I became a teenager. Parents did not go to church. I never went, never even thought about it, but I used to read the Bible when I was a little tyke (5? 7? not very old), and I wanted to believe, but did not understand how, or what I needed to believe or do to become a Christian.

Nonetheless, the Bible teaches that "God has set eternity in our hearts," so that we long for something more than this life. There are people who have convinced themselves that "emptiness," "nothingness" is at the end of their life's journey, but that is not the case, and many who thought that have discovered differently.

The most important facts to know:

1. The Bible is the information source, but God also speaks to mankind, giving us desires that go beyond this world. He does so, as Jesus tells us in John 16, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who is THE messenger of God to us and everyone else. When you become a Christian (receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior), the Holy Spirit comes to live within you. He is an inseparable part of your life forever from that point, and He chooses YOU to speak for God. Read your Bible. Listen to the Spirit.

2. EVERYONE can be saved, but not everyone will. The Bible says that Jesus "took away the sin of the world," John 1:29, and that God gave His Son so that we might not perish, John 3:16-17. Peter says of the coming judgment that "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance," and that's why God withholds judgment on the earth for so long. Even in the Book of Revelation, where the theme is Jesus Christ's return to bless believers and judge those who reject Him,  "a multitude that no man can number" become believers in Jesus Christ, despite the difficulties arrayed against them by the Antichrist.

3. Judgment is coming. It is. The Bible records multiple instances of God's Judgment, but the most important is what happens after we die. Hebrews 9:27 reads, "It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment." In other words, the next event after you die is judgment. Some, who have eternal life, will be exempt. Some will not. Jesus said, "He who hears my Word and believes in Him who sent me HAS everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." 

4. You will escape judgment and live forever, if you believe in Jesus, because from the moment you believe, everlasting life is yours. This is a wonderful message. Most people count their years, and plan out their lives in some fashion or other. They know they have 70-100 years. The Christian has forever.  

5. If you have never turned to the Lord Jesus, never called upon Him to be your Savior, you can do that right now. If you have, you can spend some time learning about your faith, and tell a friend about the marvellous gift of eternal life you have received.

6. The devil speaks to you, too. He says, "Keep your faith to yourself. Keep it a secret. Nobody wants to hear this, especially right now." It takes some effort to overcome that pressure, but you can do it. 

God Bless you all. Tell a friend about Jesus and how He offers eternal life. Pray, then speak.